Daily Gospel Reflection: Thursday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
November 16, 2023
Thursday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 17:20-25
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, "The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, 'Look, here it is,' or, 'There it is.' For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you."
Then he said to his disciples, "The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, 'Look, there he is,' or 'Look, here he is.' Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus says that before his kingdom will come, he must suffer greatly and be rejected. Even a cursory reading of the Gospels reveals that Jesus’ death is the center and goal of the narrative, that which animates and gives verve to the story.
It has often been remarked that the Gospels are not so much biographies of Jesus as “Passion narratives with long introductions.” Jesus speaks frequently of his “hour,” the culmination of his preaching and action, and this hour coincides with his coming to the cross. After his relatively peaceful Galilean ministry, Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem, steeling himself for the encounter with the powers of darkness that would take place there and moving with resolution to battle.
And in what is perhaps the most disturbing mystery of the New Testament, this culminating event of Jesus’ life, this macabre glorification through crucifixion, is not simply the result of evil human choices; it is also willed by the one whom Jesus called “Abba, Father.” Somehow it is the deepest purpose of the Incarnation; somehow it is why he was sent.